Date: 9/22/17 4:54 pm From: Frank Enders (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...> Subject: I95/NC33 Nash County Turf Farm details of several recent trips
Sep. 16 I got in too late but heard a few Killdeer.
17th 7:24-8:35 A,6:53-7:35P; 18th 6:57-7:36A;
Best: 2 adult A. Golden Plover 7:15-7:35P on 17th. With group of Killdeer on dead grass (flew there from green turf).
20th: 4-5 unknown shorebirds at end (too dark), perhaps Buffies?? On brown grass west.
I made these visits thinking Killdeer roosted at this site, but, each evening I had lowest counts. Peak of 92 AM 17th, low of 12 20th PM.
Meadowlarks increased from 1 (prior visit) to 3, then 5 in same field near west.
Crows in AM, gone in PM visits. Starlings always in far east.
Buffy reddish coyote around 8AM on 17th. Seemed to be checking the tall vegetation (several drainage ditches, one big west to northeast). Also unhurriedly observed me, probably because I had the radio with Morning Edition news on behind me. It probably came across NC 33 near the interstate.
Curiously, I did not see much on the abandoned golf course to the south. Partly due to not studiously scoping it (also too much woody vegetation to see well down there, a few Killdeer heard going there.
Few if any Horned Larks on these trips, the most being 2 across the east in a plowed field on the 20th; I did fairly carefully scope the peep location out from Shiloh Church, where larks had mingled with peep on earlier trips. And no peep. GBH in field 17th PM. No hawks these trips.
As big as this turf farm is (backs on Fishing Creek, way back --mile?) one could easily miss shorebirds, though the green grass in back seems unattractive to most shorebirds. When there is brown grass and recently harvested sites in the back, it will be very frustrating to id shorebirds here.
At night, there are some small lights on the irrigation line ends, probably only when the water is pumped out, as it was every evening. way back north. This watering of seeded plots has to be good for some shorebirds.
But, apparently earthworms are a problem for turf farms, which try to "control" them, as the worm castings can foul the delicate mowers used. What other pesticides are used is not known, though there are many labelled for grubs, etc.
Could turf farms be stopovers for migrant shorebirds where we can easily see them, but not places where shorebirds can put on much weight?